Take-Two Shareholders Revolt, Sack CEO and Elect New Board
The unprecedented occurred today as Take-Two shareholders revolted against the scandal plagued leadership of the company. At an annual shareholders meeting held today, a fresh set of directors were elected. An investor group that owns a 46% stake in Take-Two, which includes Oppenheimer Funds, officially took control of the company at the meeting. The shakeup did not stop there, either. The new board ousted the now former CEO Paul Eibeler, who has been the target of plenty of criticism. Under his watch the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas “Hot Coffee” controversy boiled over, accounting issues have come to surface and questions over stock options raised.
Leading the charge will be the new chairman of Take-Two, Strauss Zelnick. “Since the formation of ZelnickMedia, Mr. Zelnick and his partners have led the successful execution of several operational turnarounds, including Columbia Music Entertainment of Japan and Time-Life,” a Take-Two press release reads. “Take-Two has exceptional brands and creative resources, and we are thrilled to be able to work with the many talented people within the company. The new Board plans to put in place strategies designed to revitalize Take-Two, focus on supporting and enhancing its creative output, improve its margins and ensure that the 2007 release pipeline meets expectations. We are here to maximize the value of Take-Two for shareholders, for game consumers, and for the Company’s employees,” Zelnick was quoted as saying.
Replacing former CEO and President Paul Eibeler will be Ben Feder, a partner of ZelnickMedia since 2001. Mr. Feder served previously as a senior executive at News Corp, which owns Fox Broadcasting, Fox News and other media companies. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Columbia Music Entertainment, traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Mr. Feder has been named acting CEO, reporting to Mr. Zelnick.